As Shipt shoppers boycott company's coronavirus response, Target-owned app has brief technical issue

Some Shipt shoppers and customers complained about technical issues on the app Friday during the boycott

Target delivery app Shipt experienced a system outage Friday as its shoppers boycotted the company in their efforts to receive more benefits and protections amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Workers called on customers and shoppers alike to boycott the app in a Monday blog post by "Shipt Shoppers" published to Medium.

Essential warehouse, delivery and grocery store workers who work for a number of different major companies have been protesting their employers' COVID-19 responses.

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As the boycott took place Friday, Shipt customers and shoppers shared posts on Twitter and Reddit complaining about technical issues on the app. It is unclear whether the app system outage was related to the boycott.

"We remain committed to delivering the groceries, essentials and medicine our customers during this unprecedented time, especially as we approach a holiday weekend," a Shipt spokesperson said in a statement to FOX Business. "We have seen a double-digit increase in created orders compared to the previous week. At this time, our efforts are focused on hiring additional shoppers and support team members to fill orders quickly and efficiently during this period of increased demand."

Workers got notices of "degraded performance" on the app, and Shipt's website posted a notice saying a fix had been implemented.

Shipt app alert screenshot / credit: Shipt Shopper

"Some users may experience issues with the app. Our tech team is working on a fix and will have this fixed shortly!" the notice reads.

One Reddit user on a page for Shipt shoppers posted guidance for shoppers having trouble completing orders and directed users to an earlier post with comments discussing the outage.

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As a result of the outage, some shoppers said order numbers dropped in busy metro areas. Shoppers also suggested a drop in orders because of the boycott in a statement to FOX Business.

"We are thankful that our Shipt customers are choosing to stand with us in solidarity as we urge Shipt and Target to value people over profits, particularly during this worldwide pandemic," the statement signed "Shipt Shoppers" read.

The statement added that in the Birmingham, Alabama, metro area, there were 465 orders last Friday, and this Friday, shoppers said they only saw 366 orders. The statement thanked customers for boycotting Shipt on Good Friday.

"To all customers who chose to not place orders today, we thank you. May this send a message to Shipt Headquarters that customers care about the treatment of their Shoppers who risk their lives ever (sic) day to bring them groceries during this pandemic – and that Shipt should care too," the statement concluded.

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Shoppers asked for $5 hazard pay for every order; two weeks of paid sick leave for those who test positive for COVID-19 as well as those who don't; PPE, including gloves and masks for all employees; a reversal of a canceled payment system; and a better tipping system.

A Shipt spokesperson on Thursday told FOX Business the company saw a double-digit increase in sales on Tuesday when shoppers staged a walkout. The spokesperson added the company has put a number of measures in place as benefits for its workers during the COVID-19 crisis.

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This article has been updated to include a comment from Shipt.